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Discussion Starter #1
Seems I've got two possibilities for twists in newly manufactured .45 Colt rifles these day: 1 in 26" (Winchester M94) and 1 in 16" (Marlin Cowboy). Is there anyone out there who can explain which will deliver better accuracy?

My goal is to turn the .45 Colt into sort of a Mini-45/70 with 300 to 350 grain plain base bullets, but I also want to shoot the Keiths at 1300 to 1600fps. Also, I'd appreciate knowing if one of the afore mentioned rifles is better suited to the task... in other words, which one has the tightest chamber dimensions, etc.

I don't care about jacketed bullets and commercially purchased cast bullets. Sorry Beartooth fellas, but if I can't pour 'em myself, I'm not havin' fun.

Ringo
 

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Ringo
I have a Win 94 and it seems to shoot every thing I've stuffed through it so far-230,250 an 255 bullets shoot very accurately 1" to 1 1/2 " at 100 yds I have had some smaller than an inch though. The 300 (My cast) and 325 BB shoot great as well-average about 1 1/2 to 2" groups at 100 yds. So the gun will probably shoot better than I can.
I have not shot anything bigger than that. So it looks to me that 1in 26" twist is fine.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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I'll echo Gunnut45 in saying the Winnie is good at handling all the BTB's I've used too. I've got the trapper version, and it shoots about 2" at 100 with a 300 grain bullet with a moderate recoil.


FWIW...
Chris~
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK... so I'm all ears. Let's hear specifics on your loads. Don't forget to include how many firings you can get from your heavy loads before the primers unseat themslves. I wanna know if your cases extract looking like little pot belly stoves when you put the pedal to the metal... so to speak. I'll never forget how darn sloppy those .45 Colt chambers were that Ruger started cutting circa '73. BTW, when I mention group size I aways refer to a five shot group. When you all 'round here claim 1" to 1.5" groups, do you mean 3 shots or 5 shots or what? I'm also interested in the maximum overall cartridge length that'll cycle thru your ol' lever action smokepoles. I'm interested in NEI 322C which looks to be about .420" from the meplat to the top of the crimp groove; i.e., cartridge overall length ought to be right around 1.7". 1.7" should accomodate the M94 OK but I have no idea what Winchester needed to do in order for the ol' timer to feed peeestol rounds. I'm hoping I can go all the way to 1.8", which I'm pretty sure the Marlin 1894 action won't handle.

Much obliged,
Ringo
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Ringo... I'll pm you what I've been using As an attachment....

Hope it helps.
Chris~
 

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Discussion Starter #6
m141a,
Why can't you share you're experiences on the open forum? If you are uneasy about publishing load info, don't include the charge weights. Of the information I requested above, specific charge weight is the least enlightening.

Ringo
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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It's not that, it's just that I don't have the time tonight to list and type them all. I work alot with the .45 and tried to post it as an attachment, but the forum will not accept a Word document. I have also sent them to "Alan" who had great success. If you choose to keep private I respect that, and when I find the time I'll post them.
Sorry I could not help more. Try Loadswap.com also...lots of info.

Chris~
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chris,
There's no data for .45 Colt rifles on Loadswap. Tell you what... when you get a chance, post your observations while you were seeking maximum loads for the .45 Colt in a rifle. Start a new topic "Heavy .45 Colt in rifles", or something... whenever. As I said earlier, I'm looking for 45-70 ballistics with 300 to 350+ grain plain base bullets using 20 to 24" barrels and I want to keep the pressure well under 40K... there's no point going nuts here. I don't need to be buying brass every other time I handload, or stretching actions. I am looking for power, but accuracy is paramount.

Much obliged,
Ringo
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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"hot loads"

Hello again;
Got a few minutes, so I'll try to help.

I've tried a few loads for the Ruger Blackhawk and the Winnie. These may not be the hottest and "peak loads", but they perform in both my guns very well and there is not alot of stress to the cases. The primers stay tight and most of all they prove excellent accuracy.

Bullet weight powder Charge Vel.(fps)
240gr. Sierra Jhc H110 23.2 1550
250gr. FMC Berry's H110 23.5 1350
265gr. Keith BTB H110 23.0 1200
285gr. BTB GC H110 21.3 Not measured but excellent accuracy

300gr. BTB H110 22.0 1185

***PLEASE USE SAFETY WHEN TRYING LOADS AND WORK UP***
***All these were chrony'd thru the Ruger***

I've have alot more in the Smith & Wesson Mountain gun power range, but they are no where near the "45-70" mini-gun you are looking for. They are just above average .45colt loads for a SAA.
Also try this link...http://shootersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3843

Chris~~
 

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Ringo

O.K Here you go:

230gr 9.0-9.7gr W231/Bullseye- Looking for 1500's-not chrono'd yet
250 LDCast-9.5 W231 1475
250 XTP's 23.0 H110/22.7 W296-1704/1715
255 9.2 W231 1485
255 23.0 H110/22.7 W296 1645 for both
300gr 23.0 H110/ 22.9 W296 1625 for both

Most of the groups shot were 3 shot groups some of them were 5 shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK fellas now we're getting somewhere.

So, we're lookin' at 22 to 23 grains of 296/H110 behind a 300 grain (PLAIN BASE DID YOU SAY?) bullet doing about 1200fps from a handgun and about 1600fps from a rifle... is that a carbine (20" bbl) or a rifle (24" bbl)? I must say, I am surprised there's 400+fps (I would've guessed more like 300fps) difference between the handgun and the rifle, but I don't really care to discuss belly guns right now.

So, what kind of pressures are we runnin' and are we shootin' one hole, 5-shot groups at 50 yards (from a rifle) with this ammo?

Yah know, I expected somewhat more clout from the .45 Colt. This kind of performance (1600 to 1700fps) can be obtained from a .44Mag with a 20" barrel and a 300 grain .44 is going to be traveling a bit faster downrange than a 300 grain .45, all else equal.

Ringo
 

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With all due respect to you, the best you'll get from the old Colt is .44 mag - like stats....that thread has been done also... use the search.

Perhaps you should look into the 454 or 480 rather than tax the weapon you are shooting. Big pressures = big failures.:eek:
Chris~
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Chris,
Is there anyone around here who's got a better idea of chamber pressures? Perhaps someone who can actually measure it? Like I said earlier, I want to keep it under .44MAG SAAMI; i.e., under 40K. The only way I can personally get an idea about chamber pressure is to fire some factory ammo in the chamber in question and measure head expansion. Ah yes... here in lies the key to the .45 Colt dilema... no factory ammo that's been standardized at around 40K like the other magnums. Does anyone know if Buffalo Bore performs any real pressure testing or is he flying by the seat of his pants too?

BTW, I don't want a .454 nor a .480... even if Winchester didn't scrap their .480 project. I just want to know what to expect by running the .45 Colt at .44Mag pressure levels with unchecked heavy bullets.

Ringo
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Ringo,

I've talked to the guy at Buffalo Bore (Tim Sundles) re: their .45 Colt ammo (well, emails, anyway). He told me that Hodgdon does his pressure testing for him.

Basically, the vast majority of 'hot' .45 Colt load data is going to be at or under 30,000CUP. This is what you find in the loading manuals, magazines, etc. As a bonus,good plain based bullets will stand up to this level of pressure, but above it, it seems like gas checks become necessary.

Reason? Well, it seems to me that the obvious conclusion is, the common launch vehicle for hotter-than-SAAMI-spec loads is the Ruger Blackhawk, and it's commonly accepted that 30,000CUP is a reasonable limit for that gun in that chambering.

So.... if a fella wants pressure-tested 40,000CUP load data for the .45 Colt, you're in a world of hurt, because it just doesn't exist, or is very hard to find. Once in a great while you see some references to slightly hotter loads for the Redhawk, for example.

Unfortunately, this means that you are probably on your own. It's a classic chicken and egg problem, no one publishes data in that range because there are so few suitable guns, and there would be little point in making a gun for that pressure level, because there's hardly any data.

Anyway, best advise is to start with the 30,000CUP loads, and proceed with caution. One of the better references for that level of performance is the Hodgdon #26, silhouette loads.

Hope this helps, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
MikeG,
Sounds like good advice. I wonder if the M94 is even up to 35,000 to 40,000 CUP after removing enough steel to chamber the Colt. Now that I think about it, I'm wondering if a plain base .45 can handle 30,000+ CUP. I may have to pour 'em from straight type metal which could end up more expensive than incorporating a gas check on a 17 to 18 BHN bullet. Are there any experienced casters out there who have spent some serious plain base ammo development time?

Much obliged Mike...
Ringo
 

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Ringo
Yes my loads are of the Plain base bullet type. And my Trails End is a 20" bl. And yes I see an average of + 400 fps on all my loads VS the 7.5" Bl velocity's in the manuals. The BB 325 comes out of mine at about 1740 vs 1325 rating in a 7.5" Bl If you want clout then use these! Your getting 2,198 foot-pounds at the muzzle, at 175 Yds it still has 1085.8 FtLb's 9.9 inch drop thats a potent round in my book!! And the old 45 LC will throw a bigger bullet than the 44 can.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gunnut,
That load is somewhat hotter than what you posted on the first page. In fact it's leaving the muzzle over 100fps faster than your 300 grain bullet. Do you suppose we've crossed the 35K line with this load? How many loads can you get from a case? Here's a couple more questions for ya: How do you know it's still traveling about 1226fps at 175 yards? where can I get a look at this bullet?; and, who's making the mould?

Thank you,
Ringo
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Gunnut,
Sorry but I forgot to ask ya: How hard are these 325 grain bullets and what size groups are you getting?

Thanks again,
Ringo
 

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Ringo
Ballisticians Corner- External Ballistics. Punch in the numbers for your round and it gives you the info you want know. I've e-mail Buffalo Bore cartridge company and they said there bullets are very good rounds to shot out of the Win 94 -no pressure signs well with in the limits for the gun- In fact the individual that I talked with said he uses them for all his big game hunting in the Win 94. Ther 300 gr offering would probably come out at around 1800 fps! Accuracy is about 2" at 100 yds with open sights- I'll let you know what I get with a scope when I get the mounts. BB ammo is expensive I don't know what the price would be for a case I've only seen per box prices-$50 for 50 rounds!:D
 
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